AAI seeks franchise agreements to grow its offering overseas

Agency Assessments International, which specialises in agency selection and the management of agency and client relationships, is exporting its offering to Europe and the Far East.

AAI plans to establish its brand in Germany, Australia and Singapore over the next year and is negotiating affiliations with similar operations in New York and Paris.

Under the plan, it will enter into franchise agreements allowing affiliates to use AAI's proprietary methodologies. AAI may take shareholdings in the new operations and will be responsible for ensuring quality control.

The initiative builds the company's existing presence in Ireland and concentrates on major ad markets where rival operations are thin on the ground or non-existent.

David Wethey, the AAI chairman, said: "International business accounts for more than half our revenue and it has been evident for some time how transportable our formula is."

Developing a presence in the Asia-Pacific area is a likely precursor to AAI opening a franchise in Shanghai.

Charles Kirchner, the AAI managing director, is quitting to take charge of international operations at the marketing resource management company TAG.

Lucinda Peniston-Baines, a former account director at Grey and HHCL & Partners, is joining AAI as a consultant.

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